Jong, Shung-Chang Mycology and Protistology Program, American Type Culture Collection, Manassas, Virginia.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The study of organisms of the fungal lineage. Mycology is the scientific discipline concerned with all fungal organisms, including mushrooms (see illustration), boletes, bracket or shelf fungi, powdery mildew, bread molds, yeasts, puffballs, morels, stinkhorns, truffles, smuts, and rusts. In the traditional sense, fungi comprise an ecological grouping of organisms found in every ecological niche. Mycologists estimate that there are somewhere between 1.5 million and 5 million species of fungi, but only approximately 120,000 species have been described. Fungi typically have a filamentous-branched somatic structure surrounded by thick cell walls; these structures are known as hyphae. See also: Fungal ecology; Fungi; Mushroom
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